is the decade starting January 1
and ending December 31
Europe in the 1280s was marked by naval warfare on the Mediterranean Sea and consolidation of power by the major states. Ongoing struggles over the control of Sicily provoked lengthy naval warfare: after the Sicilian Vespers rebellion, the French Angevins struggled against Aragon for control of the island. King Rudolph I of Germany established the Habsburg dynasty in Austria when he invested his two sons with power there. In England, King Edward I of England completed the conquest of Wales and annexed the territory via the Statute of Rhuddlan; he also constructed a series of castles in Wales to suppress any future rebellions. Edward I also established several important legal traditions, including a court system to hear claims on the king's behalf and a codification of the separation of church and state legal powers. The death of King Alexander III of Scotland fomented political wrangling in Scotland which would soon lead to increased English influence over Scotland. In Sweden, King Magnus I of Sweden founded a Swedish nobility.
In Asia, the Mongol Empire continued to expand, although at a slower pace and with less success than in previous decades. Kublai Khan's Yuan dynasty established control over the Khmer empire in Cambodia, the Pagan Empire in Myanmar, and a kingdom of Laos, but failed a second attempted invasion of Japan and was twice defeated in attempted invasions of Vietnam. The Thai kingdoms of Lanna and Sukhothai also exercised power in the region, avoiding conflict with the Mongol Empire to the north. Across the continent in the Middle East, the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt continued to extinguish crusader states under the leadership of Qalawun, capturing Margat, Latakia, and the County of Tripoli. In Anatolia, Osman I became a local chief, or bey, planting the seed that would eventually grow into the Ottoman Empire.
The 1280s was also a busy decade in culture. In Thailand, King Ramkhamhaeng the Great invented the Thai alphabet. In Holland, the St. Lucia's flood killed 50,000 while creating the Zuider Zee, thus giving Amsterdam the sea access it would later need to rise to prominence as an important port. In legal reforms, King Edward I of England started the use of drawing and quartering as punishment for traitors, King Philip IV of France created the gabelle, an onerous tax on salt, and the Scots Parliament passed laws allowing women to propose marriage to men, but only in leap years. The northern branch of the Grand Canal of China was
constructed during the first half of the decade, the Uppsala Cathedral was begun, and a partial collapse set back construction of the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais in a blow to the aspirations of its Gothic architecture. Colleges at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge were founded. The cities of Al Mansurah, Egypt and Guiyang, China were founded, while Hamburg, Germany burnt to the ground in a catastrophic fire. Jews continued to be persecuted across Europe, while Taoists suffered under Kublai Khan in Mongol China.
War and politics
War and Peace
Continental Europe and the British Isles
People and dynasties
The Mongol Empire sphere of influence
The Yuan dynasty: east Asia
- 1281 - August 15 - The second Mongol invasion of Japan is foiled at the Battle of Kōan (or Battle of Hakata Bay) as a large typhoon — famously called a kamikaze, or divine wind — destroys much of the combined Chinese and Korean fleet and forces, numbering over 140,000 men and 4,000 ships.
- 1281 - The Mon kingdom of Haripunchai falls as its capital Lamphun (in present-day Thailand) is captured by King Mengrai's Lannathai kingdom.
- 1283 - Kublai Khan's Mongol Empire invades the Khmer empire of present-day Cambodia; King Jayavarman VIII decides to pay tribute rather than fight the invasion, buying peace and preserving the empire.
- 1285 - Tran Hung Dao leads Vietnamese forces in victory over an invading Yuan dynasty Mongol army.
- 1286 - In Laos, King Panya Leng is overthrown in a coup d'etat led by his son Panya Khamphong, which is likely to have been supported by the regionally dominant Mongol Empire (Yuan dynasty of China).
- 1286 - Kublai Khan plots a final Mongol invasion of Japan, but aborts the plan due to a lack of necessary resources.
- 1287 - Kings Mengrai of the Lanna kingdom and Ramkhamhaeng the Great of the Sukhothai kingdom agree to a peace pact in their region of southeast Asia (present-day Thailand).
- 1287 - The Theravada Buddhist kingdom at Pagan, Myanmar falls to the invading Mongol Empire in the Battle of Pagan.
- 1288 - Vietnamese general Tran Hung Dao sinks the entire fleet of an invading Yuan dynasty Mongol army by placing steel-tipped bamboo stakes in the Bach Dang River, near Halong Bay.
- 1289 - Franciscan friars begin missionary work in China.
The Ilkhanate: southwest Asia
The Golden Horde: Eastern Europe
The Mamluk Sultanate sphere of influence: the Middle East
- 1280 - The Wolf minimum of solar activity begins (approximate date).
- 1282 - The most recent eruption of Larderello, a volcano in southern Tuscany, is observed.
- 1287 - December 14 - A fringing barrier between the North Sea and a shallow lake in Holland collapses during a heavy storm, causing the fifth largest flood in recorded history which creates the Zuider Zee inlet and kills over 50,000 people; it also gives sea access to Amsterdam, allowing its development as an important port city.
- 1287 - The English city of Old Winchelsea on Romney Marsh is destroyed by catastrophic flooding during a severe storm; a new town of the same name is later constructed some two miles away on higher ground.
Science, literature, and industry
- 1280 to 1283 - The E codex of the Cantigas de Santa Maria, a collection of Portuguese musical manuscripts, is dated to between 1280 and 1283.
- 1282 - The technology of watermarks is introduced by paper manufacturers of Bologna, Italy.
- 1283 - The Libro de los juegos, an early European treatise on board games (including chess, dice, and a version of backgammon), is commissioned by King Alfonso X of Castile between 1251 and 1283.
- 1283 - King Ramkhamhaeng the Great of the Sukhothai kingdom creates the Thai alphabet, according to tradition.
- 1284 - Jean de Meun translates Vegetius' 4th century military treatise De Re Militari from Latin into French.
- 1285 - The English romantic poem The Lay of Havelok the Dane is written (approximate date).
- 1289 - The 5,452 meter (17,887 feet) high volcano Popocatépetl is first ascended by members of the Tecuanipas tribe in present-day Mexico.
Civic laws and institutions
Art and architecture
Cities and institutions
- 1281 - Kublai Khan orders the burning of sacred Taoist texts, resulting in the reduction in number of volumes of the Dao Zheng (Taoist Canon) from 4,565 to 1,120.